Unless you were an advanced math student at Garfield High School in East LA a couple of decades ago, or a fan of the movie Stand and Deliver, then the news of Jaime Escalante’s passing may have escaped your notice. If his example touched your life, I’m sure that you were saddened.
According to this NPR article Mr. Esclante described the movie as 90% truth and 10% drama. I was happy to read that.
Stand and Deliver is the story of Mr. Escalante’s use of higher math as a gateway for his students to harness their ‘ganas’ and excel. It is one of my favorite inspirational movies. No matter how many times I see it, there are still moments that bring goosebumps. And others that bring tears. Because it’s mostly true. And it’s a story that illustrates a little bit of what is possible when generosity, discipline, hard work and a refusal to fail are applied.
And that one person with ‘ganas’ and a commitment to excellence can make a difference. A big, important difference.